bending low...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

i grew up in a small baptist church where all the grey-haired ones became my aunties and uncles and where i would sneak a pickle or two from the fridge down in the basement near where my sunday school class was.

it's where i met flannel-graph-Jesus and met my first friends,

it's where i was baptized and spent my first year in youth group,

and it's where i acquired my love of hymns.

those old hymns - you know the ones. where my piano teacher sat up to that organ and bobbed her head up and down as she counted out the rhythm soundlessly and pounded out, o for a thousand tongues.

where blessed assurance comforted and i tried to sing all the words to great is Your faithfulness  without ever looking down at the words.

hymns have always pulled me in and comforted when my heart has felt heavy.

there are deep truths about a Deeper God buried within those lines.

and it was on tuesday of this week when i sat in the playground with a heavy heart and watched my three play with a little girl who speaks english in only the faintest of whispers; as that one little boy kept standing on top of the monkey bars because my reaction made him almost fall off laughing.

it's in that playground that i hear a cacophony of noises, ones that tend to clash as the laughter tries to drown out the sirens or the yelling of the couple down the street.

and my husband, because he loves me, because he knows me, had asked me to do something hard, something out of my comfort zone - he had asked me to share from my heart; not in the writing down of words, but in the speaking them out...with my voice and i wrestled in the moments leading up to it all.

the noise in my head, maybe the most clashing of all the noises around me...

when above it all, for the first and only time, since we've first started showing up on the steps of this old schoolhouse, the sound in the air around me was of the Holy bending near...

because from some church steeple around us, there came the ringing of bells and in the middle of the notes moving and weaving in the air around me, i heard His call...

and His promise:

praise to the Lord, the Almighty
the King of Creation
o my soul praise Him for
He is thy help and salvation
all ye who hear, now to His temple draw near
praise Him in glad adoration

praise to the Lord 
Who o'er all things so wonderfully reigneth
shelters thee under His wings
yea, so gladly sustaineth
hast thou not seen how thy desires e'er have been
granted in what He ordaineth

praise to the Lord 
Who doth prosper thy work and defend thee
surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee
ponder anew what the Almighty can do
if with His love He befriend thee

praise to the Lord, o let all that is in me adore Him
all that have life and breath
come now with praises before Him
let thy 'amen' sound from His people again
gladly for aye we adore Him

hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

i haven't heard the bells sing out again, the air is silent save for the laughter and the sirens and the yelling, but He, the God Who Sees took notice, bent low to remind this heart that i'm not forgotten.

yes, o my soul, praise Him.